[-empyre-] Resistance is Futile/ the mind is a muscle

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Thu Jul 4 15:08:16 EST 2013

dear all

following up on Terry Flaxton's postings, especially his suggestion to give emphasis to "practical investigations of consciousness" 
rather than resist the increasing uselessness (?) of theory and ratiocinatory construction (obsessive compulsive rehearsing of highly stratified bureaucratic cataloguing of meaning),
may I ask about how Terry understands the exogram or the exogrammatic?  

You write that cognitive neuroscientists claim

>>the human project [that] began simply by panto-miming to exchange information that would be remembered within the brain (engramatically) and eventually export all of human memory outside of our own minds into surrounding reality. Initially this was through a simple exogram like a storytelling, a henge, a pyramid, a book, a film and then recently, telematically.
But with the advent of computers and data (big or small, it doesn't matter) then the human exogramatic project was coming to its conclusion - everything has been placed outside of ourselves into surrounding reality...

is not the exogrammatic an import, rather than exported? is not exogrammatic knowledge and memory and kinetic and symbolic forms continuously re-adapted by the bodymind in our movement through the world, by necessity, as the unconscious, or engrammatic information, might be error prone to some extent, or overloaded, if it is true that the essential elements of our sense of the self – of the propensity for action and our memory – act at an unconscious level, not in the sense that they regard something being suppressed,  yet in the sense of a functional unconscious situated beyond the boundaries of awareness for purely operative reasons? I read somewhere that if all mental operations were carried out under the control of consciousness, human beings would be overloaded and therefore incapable of action.

May I shift momentarily from ISEA context to a small Montessori school in Houston, where yesterday by fluke if accident, I was invited to teach a dance class to 4 and 5-year olds?  The teachers there had told me that by age three, much of the child's development is in place, and by age six, there isn't too much more that can be affected and changed anymore as developmental pattern or identity has been set in motion  (through the mix of genetic information, learning, the sensorimotor functions, language acquisition and environmental influence).  I had not known really that our bodymind is shaped crucially at such an early stage, and  am ignorant of developmental psychology.

But I was experiencing the beauty of, if you want, the pantomine and the analogical imagination in the young children, as they went through a series of exercises with me culled from Yoga, sports, dance, vocal training, improvisation, music, rhythm, and the realm of kinaesthesia that I think has not been addressed yet in Terry's postings and the responses. I noticed that the children had no preconceived ideas of dance, but they enjoyed enacting all kinds of movements, also inventing motion on the spot or finding comparisons to what they saw others do (this is group learning, we were 18 people in the room), so external information is adopted and also internal information may not be cognitively known except in terms of motorsensory experience as well as through memory?  When I asked the children whether they had seen dance, only three or four said yes (some just looked at me curiously in silence, smiling), and each of them had something different in mind, one young girl mentioned the dance she remembered seeing in an animation (film) - and Terry, since she had no theory or concept of dance (of film for that matter) in the sense that her thinking mind got in the way, she was processing something (moving images or moving bodies). I don't know what.  

Fascinating, however, was the teachers' quiet instance on observing the children (this month's theme in the Montessori school is "insects") and letting them try out, and this practical investigation of "dance", that we engaged, was to a large extent kinetic or kinaesthetic-playful (how does this connect to what you call entrainment?), and they did not necessarily follow the instructor, which I enjoyed much.  I have not idea whether "programs" were running already, but I sensed that nothing about the new paradigm (big data, everything placed outside) you evoke mattered here, we were still inside the group of shared activity, face to face, physically close, a good old paradigm.  I am also of course thinking of remembering information through the body here. The stories we tell each other return to body. 

with regards
Johannes Birringer

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